NYPD Needs a Babysitter, Says New Lawsuit

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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images2012 Getty Images

The widespread and well-documented surveillance of Muslims in and around New York was so "flagrant and persistent," according to a new lawsuit, that the NYPD deserves to be punished. In addition to seeking an injunction against the warrantless spying, civil rights attorneys are arguing for a police auditor to oversee the department. "There is substantial persuasive evidence" — including the long-running Associated Press series on the program — "that the defendants are conducting investigations into organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim faith and the Muslim community in New York, and have been doing so for years, using intrusive methods, without a reasonable indication of unlawful activity, or a criminal predicate of any sort," the motion argues. While the NYPD says it follows the relevant Handschu guidelines, a judge may get a chance to make sure for the first time since 2005.